Every organization faces different challenges when tackling customer churn. However, there are many things we can learn from each other about how we can collectively approach a common problem. Spyglaz is launching a series of conversations with business leaders across various industries on their approach to reducing customer churn. Be a part of the conversation and share your thoughts on what others have to say as well as your own experiences.

Robin Norris – President Asia Pacific joins Spyglaz for a short 3 question interview on how this large multinational, tackled churn. 

Robin Norris recently completed a 40-year tenure at Sonepar Pacific as President Asia Pacific. Sonepar is a leading wholesale distributor of industrial, electrical and safety products to SMB’s across Australia. Robin led a team of over 1,200 staff working across 150 store locations managing over 35,000 customers using a mix of instore and online purchases.

Spyglaz: How significant a challenge was managing customer churn during your time at Sonepar?

Robin: “Incredibly significant. In a business as big as ours, there were many moving parts that needed co-ordination to ensure the customer experience was right. With a large workforce selling a wide range of products across multiple industry segments, churn rate numbers often moved in a similar pattern to a ‘heart rate monitor’ – up and down every month!”

Spyglaz: What were some of the common barriers to managing a churn reduction strategy?

The biggest challenge was the natural defensiveness of staff when asked about the status of a customer. “That customer is ok, they haven’t spent for a while because of other distractions going on in the business etc etc”, or “no, we already enjoy that customer’s full support”. Helping staff to understand that tackling churn is not a criticism of their performance but an ongoing business opportunity that needs constant attention was our biggest barrier. When it comes to sales and feedback, customers will give you 100% of what they’re prepared to give you!

Spyglaz: What sorts of strategies would you put in place to manage it?

Robin: “In a word. Training. We would be constantly looking at how we can further improve our people to deliver a better overall level of service. Part of that training was helping our staff to define what success meant to the customer. As a large business, sometimes you fall into the trap of assuming what the customer wants. Ensuring we started our business relationship with the end game clearly defined meant

that we were better placed to know, that when something invariably goes wrong, we’re prepared and can address it immediately with the customer.”

The challenges faced by Sonepar are common amongst many businesses. Whilst it may seem obvious, your staff always need to understand the broader business context when tackling an integrated customer churn reduction strategy. Technology can now help staff approach customer churn in a far more efficient way.

Machine learning conquers the churn reduction conundrum.

Spyglaz delivers software that leverages machine learning and AI to pre-empt customer churn before it occurs. Tailored to suit the nuances of your business, the algorithms that make up the Spyglaz solution are trained to learn from your data and identify patterns in it that have traditionally led to customer loss. You now have vision on which customers are about to leave you and can proactively work with those customers to address their specific issues. Staff are more empowered than ever with data at their fingertips that guide their approach to delivering customer success. Head to spyglaz.com to learn more.


Steve Emanouel is Managing Director at Spyglaz and is based in the Melbourne, Australia office. He is passionate about bringing change management to organizations that are prioritizing the reduction of customer churn as a key objective.

Spyglaz delivers churn management software. We use machine learning algorithms to identify which customers you’re likely to lose before you actually lose them. Our proprietary algorithms analyze your historical customer data and identify macro trends that have historically led to customer loss.